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People's Daily Online>>China Society

HIV-positive men in appeal to Wen

By  Wang Qingchu  (Shanghai Daily)

13:30, November 30, 2011

Three HIV-positive men seeking permanent teaching jobs have appealed to Premier Wen Jiabao, claiming civil service recruitment discriminates against them and calling for it to be changed.

The petition filed by the men was delivered on Monday to the State Council Legislative Affairs Office.

The three signatories, who identified themselves as Xiao Wu, Xiao Jun and Xiao Hai, had filed separate lawsuits against their local governments after provincial education bureaus rejected their applicants for teaching jobs because mandatory blood tests revealed they were HIV positive, though they had passed written tests and interviews.

Two of them lost their lawsuits in Sichuan and Anhui provinces, and the other's lawsuit was rejected by a local court in Guizhou Province.

They say China's Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, which advocates that HIV-positive people be kept in isolation, is at odds with medical knowledge. Under current rules, HIV-positive people fail the pre-employment health check in civil service recruitment.

These rules assume all people will develop symptoms after being infected with HIV and most AIDS patients die within two years. On this basis, a candidate confirmed with HIV would be rejected.

But under current medical knowledge, if a person contracts the virus at 20, they could live beyond 70 if they get treatment, said Xiao Wu.

The men have asked the Legal Affairs Office to review the regulations and amend or abolish them.

Xiao Wu is the only one of the three with a stable job, but without welfare benefits. Xiao Hai works as a part-time substitute teacher, while Xiao Jun has not found a job.

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